How often do you use your airbath or does the novelty wear off??

kmarcelNovember 14, 2011

I posted this on the decorating forum as well.

We are going to do a bathroom reno after the holidays and I am trying to decide what I want in the meantime. It is our main bath, which has an alcove tub and shower combo. I mostly shower, my husband never bathes, but so often I wish for a hot bath. The standard builder bathtub, which we have, is not comfortable or practical/deep enough to soak in.

So my concerns are since I usually shower, would an airbath be practical, or would it be something that is rarely used over time? I tell myself (and my husband) that if I had this luxury tub I would use it often.

My other concern is since it's a soaking tub and would be higher, would it be harder to enter/exit when used as a shower and would this inconvenience outweigh the benefit of having an airtub?

Does anyone who has an airbath and shower combo regret that they got the taller tub to step in and out of for showers?

Do you still use it enough to justify that you spent the extra $$???

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I purchased an acrylic Kohler soaker to fit an alcove without the jets since I just wanted the soaker tub. It is 20" high and to be honest I think it would be a hassle to step in and out on a daily basis to shower and would probably put a small hand hold outside the tub if necessary. I have a separate walk in shower so don't really have that problem. I agree the standard tub is not worhwhile to soak, and there may be some sizes between the standard and the 20".

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 12:14PM
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marissa16, that is my concern. I think I would really like a nice soaker tub or airbath, which is approximately the same depth as a soaker. Unfortunately, we do shower in there as well and due to size constraints have no other option.

Anyone else have this combo tub-shower with a deeper tub to share opinions on?

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 12:48PM
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I used a VERY deep soaker tub for our tub/shower combo (the Kohler Greek, which is over 23" high). I put a grab bar on the wall and a step in front of it. The step is nice because it cuts the visual height and looks less imposing but it is not really necessary. The grab bar is what makes it safe. My kids are the ones who use this bathroom and they have not complained about having to step in since they were used to it already because we replaced a standard tub/shower. We did not have room for the tub in our bathroom and like you, I was determined to have a deep bath for those times when I just want to soak. I imagine that you will get used to the high side. Just make it safe.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 2:24PM
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nycbluedevil, I have read alot of posts about the Kohler Greek and people seem to love it. What I am looking at would only be 19-20" inches high, depending on what brand I get.

I think we would get used to it and would hate to regret not getting it because I was concerned about getting in and out.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 3:23PM
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Totally agree with you. Still, a grab bar is a good idea for a tub with a high side. Set up a bunch of books or something and step over it without holding on to anything. Now imagine that you are wet or stepping in to a wet tub that someone has just used.

There are really nice grab bars out there that do not look institutional at all. We went with very deco style faucets and trim and found a grab bar from Smedbo that went with them. It is not the fat, brushed stainless contraption that yells "grab bar." Depending on what your style is, I am sure you can find something that looks really nice.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 4:58PM
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kmarcel-we just moved out of an aprtment that had "garden tubs". They were the standard 5' long but nice & wide and overly deep. Even my 6', 250 lb. 17yr old son had no problem having a little soak in them. I wish I could tell you the manufacturer, but they were acrylic and I would think pretty common. I would guess they were about 18-20" high and a full 36" wide. They even had the molded backrest & armrests. They were similar to these, but not exact. No problem stepping in or out.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 9:22PM
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mybluedevil, I think a grab bar is a good idea. Currently my tub has shower doors, which I will not have if I get an air tub. So at least I wouldn't be adding an extra inch for stepping over the track of a shower door.

Mydreamhome, those are nice looking tubs. I wish I could get a wider tub, but unfortunately I am limited to the standard 30-32" width due to my bathroom size.

I happened to think last night about my daughter who lives 2 states away and has a whirlpool tub and shower combo. When we visit we use that bathroom all the time for showers and never even noticed that it's a higher step than what we're used to at home. Maybe because we don't have a walk in shower and are used to stepping in and out of a tub that a couple extra inches wouldn't be as bothersome to us as it would be to people who are used to a walk in shower. Maybe I'm just over analyzing.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 8:46AM
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I guess i would vote against it, and I love airtubs. First, there is the stepover height, that will get old, especially if you find you don't use the tub much. Second, I feel I have to give a shower/tub a thorough scrubbing before taking a bath. There's just an eww factor from the foot traffic that doesn't exist in a tub without shower. How about changing it to a wonderful 5' shower, and later change another tub to an airtub?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 10:00PM
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I agree with tilenut. We have an airbath/shower: my husband doesn't like stepping over it (bad back) and I use it less than I'd like because of the scrub factor everytime I'd want to use it. In our remodel of the house we bought this summer, I made space for a separate shower/tub for these very reasons. I will be getting another airtub, though. I love them (esp. if they are clean).

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 1:03AM
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My soaker is a Kohler Devonshire acrylic and is 60" X 30" and is 20" high. It is in a very small second bathroom and as I said, without the shower. It is installed in an incomplete apartment and today, I tried stepping into it with a more critical eye and I would agree, that you have to lift your leg much higher and balance on the other leg. Having a grab bar would help considerably, but depending on your age and thinking ahead, it may be doable now, but may get more difficult in time. I think there are 18" heights as well and the additional 2" clearance might make all the difference.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 8:45AM
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We purchased an airtub and I love it. However, the challenge is finding the time to use it. I don't just want to hop in and out .... so it means waiting until the weekend to enjoy it.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 9:58AM
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My house came with an airbath. I used it twice in the 8 years I've lived here. For me, I would not buy another one, but might enjoy a nice soak once in a while.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2011 at 11:09AM
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I can't address the shower aspect but I can tell you how much I love my Bain Ultra airtub...LOVE! It will be 4 years old at the end of Dec and I use the air jets every day. There might have been a dozen times in the last 4 years that I've had to jump in and jump out. There's been plenty of times I thought I was too tired to bother with the bubbles but I always gave in at the thought of the soothing and healing hydro-massage. I'm 5 feet tall and my tub is (iirc) 19" high. Depending on how bad I might hurt (Fibro Myalgia), I have to be more careful getting in, but all in all, I don't find it difficult to maneuver.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 12:25AM
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I am leaning toward the BU air bath. I know I want some kind of tub to relax in and a soaker tub is just as deep as the air bath. I think I will always feel like I'm missing something if I don't get it because I was concerned with the height of getting in and out. We would get used to it. NYCbluedevil, you're right about the grab bars.

monicakm, what model BU do you have? I sat in one at a local showroom that was 20" high, but can't recall the model. However, I have read about the Thalassa, which is 19" high and has arm rests and grab bars. I like the look and it seems like it would be really comfortable.

Anyone share their brand and model air bath in a alcove tub? Just need to decide now what type to get.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 9:25AM
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I currently have an older whirlpool tub/shower and the extra tub height isn't a problem for entering/exiting (I'm 5'8" and DH is 5'11"). We're looking to replace it this spring with the Sanijet 320. I like the idea that it's pipeless, easy to clean and completely accessible from inside the tub (no external access panel needed).

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 10:37AM
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kmarcel, I have the Thalassa. If you'd like to see pictures of it in a real setting, my bath remodel photos can be seen at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Master Bath Remodel

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 5:32PM
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Monicakm, Love your bathroom! Thanks so much for sharing.

I called BU earlier to ask about the Thalassa and decided that is the one I want to go with. The BU I looked at in our local was 21" high and had no grab bars. As you stated the one you have is 19", which I think is manageable. My daughter has a whirlpool tub/shower combo and when I go to her house I get in and out and never thought about it until I started looking into get a new tub.

Do you think the lights are worth the extra $$?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 8:13PM
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Thank you kmarcel :) About the lights...Yes, to ME they were worth it. I used to use them every night. Now it's an on again off again thing. The grandchildren like them too :) Just adds whole new "spa" feeling to the bathroom. Would I choose them again? YES :)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 11:09PM
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Hmmmm. My air tub is something I used almost every night! I love it, use it and never get tired of it. I find it quite easy with regard to maintenance as well (I also like bath oils to add to it which can leave a film on it). The nice thing is once I'm out, All I do is turn the hand held sprayer (at the edge of the tub deck) and using the hot water I quickly spray the perimeter of the tub for no more than 2 or 3 minutes and its spotless. It's always looks brand new - maybe because I use it every day or because I just run the hot sprayer over it as soon as I get out. It also has an automatic cleaner that blows the air "lines" clear so there is no water sitting around anywhere. It's an oceania 72" deep air tub. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 9:28PM
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Are BainUltra's hard to install? We're just starting the process of our bathroom remodel and I'm trying to estimate the costs for everything. And if you don't mind me asking, what is the general price range of the BainUltra's?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2011 at 10:09AM
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Getting ready to build a new home and all the choices are overwhelming! Have a bad back and am looking for the right answer in a corner tub - thinking about one of the styles that show a seat (Jason "McKenzie" or Hydro Massage "Retreat"). Trying to weigh the cost vs. benefit of a combination air tub w/ whirlpool features. Can anyone comment on a Jason or Hydro Massage product? Have several forums in GardenWeb but don't see Hydro Massage mentioned at all... a bad sign?? Thanks for any advice and counsel!!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 10:24PM
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